Concertina spine books and their variations.

The past couple of meetings a few of us have been experimenting with the seemingly infinite variations that a concertina spine and stitched pamphlets allow.

All the variations we worked on had this starting constraint – a sheet of paper folded in half and then in half again to give 4 equal sections. The centre sections are then folded to form the concertina spine leaving the outer two sections to become endpapers or covers. ( Here are then are the first set of variations : length, height, orientation, number of spine folds, paper weight, inner colour, outer colour, pattern finish…)

Next to form pamphlets to attach to the spine.  ( The next set of variations. Width of pages: to the valley fold, the mountain, wider, narrower. Height : taller, shorter, same height as spine. Pamphlets: single sheet, multiple page folios, more than one per fold; adjacent, stacked, staggered. Not to mention paper choice!)

The next constraint was to stitch the pamphlets to the spine. ( But what stitch and type of thread to use? 3 hole, 5 hole, 3 hole and over the top and bottom, saddle stitch, chain, string of pearls, double pamphlet, kettle, Coptic, link… Linen, cotton, string, ribbon, embroidery… Add some padding stubs?)

And finally, what cover? ( Use the outer folds as a cover or endpapers? Hard cover,  soft cover, wrap? Spine or no spine? Board, cloth, leather? Patterned or plain? Ties, band, another type of closure? Does it need a box or other enclosure?)

Enough choices to form thousands of variations, and that’s without even considering the content!

Please leave a comment or link to your favourite concertina spine variation, we’d love to see them.